The Sweet Wonder of the great, “I AM.”

God is the great “I AM.” Those two words with only three letters cover us, lives inside of us through His Spirit, and helps us in our most desperate need. When the heart gets muddled and the mind becomes confused, the great “I AM” knows it all, and He knows how to care for you.

Word For Life Says...

There is so much that goes on inside of us, outside of us, and around us, that can literally make our heads spin.  There are so many if’s, and’s, and but’s that we deal with daily making us feel deflated, depleted, and downright drained.  Sometimes, it just seems that things are out of control and we can’t get a handled on anything and we have mastered or accomplished nothing.

But, I take comfort in the words God spoke from the midst of the burning bush to Moses, His prophet.  He said, “I AM THAT I AM,” (Exodus 3:14) and I am drawn into a world of sweet wonder at the love my God has for us.

The human heart can get so muddled and become so bogged down to the point that it can’t even express properly how it feels or what it wants to say.  But, the great “I…

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“Blessing, Glory, and Honor Forever” Sunday School Lesson Summary and Activities, Revelation 5:6-14

This week’s Sunday School Lesson is available once again, just in case you missed it. Enjoy!

“Made For Green”

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I love this time of the year when the trees are finally in full bloom.  Ahhh…, finally!  The green branches, with their beautiful blooms, sway in the breeze and they speak to my heart, “I was made for green.”

I feel renewed with the turning of the season.  There is a sense of this is how it was supposed to be.  The trees were made for green and so were we.  I could be wrong but when God placed man in the Garden of Eden I don’t think there were any winters or bad weather there (just my opinion, but check out Adam and Eve’s clothing attire, or lack thereof).  I don’t think the trees were to ever be bare.  I don’t think the branches were to ever cease having fruit sprout from them.  I think paradise was just that, a never-ending green that sings to the symphony of one’s heart that they are where God placed them.

There’s a lot of ugliness we see in this world.  Once, it was not so.  Our original design was not to live in an environment of sin and decay.  It was not designed to exist with dead and dreary things.  It was designed to behold the beauty of God through His creation.  We were designed to live in God’s best!  We were made for so much more!

In this life, we have to deal with what the world has become now.  But, oh, that day is coming where we shall once again know the pleasures of paradise.  Where we once again will enjoy the best of God’s design.  I personally can’t wait because I was made for green 🙂

People are Precious | Word For Life Says Poetry

No matter who they are

No matter the clothes they wear

No matter their lifestyle

No matter the style of their hair

People are precious

 

Whether they dwell in your house

Or you meet them on the street

Whether you pass by them in the car

Or, on the corner is their beat

People are precious

 

Whether they are cutting the lawn

Or sewing up scars

Whether they are behind the desk

Or living paycheck to paycheck

People are precious

 

No matter who you are

No matter who you greet

Inside each living being is a soul

Inside each, a heartbeat

 

Take care to love them all

And treat them with respect

Every man, woman, and child

From every nation, tongue, and dialect

 

Not one of us is perfect

We all make mistakes

Precious people see that people are precious

And extend His loving grace

“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” 1 John 3:11

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“Before there was Egypt, there was a promise!”

Many times when we discuss the land of Egypt within the confines of the Bible, our minds automatically track back to the time when the children of Israel were in bondage there.  We see them under the weight of the taskmasters, dealing with oppressive circumstances that are beyond their control.  They stand by and watch as some are beaten, others are killed; lack and degrading situations run rampant throughout their time there.  Fear, hatred, and jealousy by others drove them to the place where they are residing; a place where tough days seem like they will never come to an end.

Often times, when people find themselves in a hard spot of life, or when they find themselves coming up short and just not happy with the way things are turning out at this particular time, they refer to that circumstance as their place of “Egypt.”  This is where heartbreak and troubling times lie.  This is the place where it seems everything is fighting against them and no matter what one does it just doesn’t appear that they will ever come out on top.  People may not have taskmaster’s whips to deal with, but other things just lash and lash out at them, making it hard to get back up again.

As hard as this may be to believe, I assure you your Egypt will not last forever.  I’m sure the children of Israel had doubts about this.  After all, their time there lasted about four hundred years.  Yet, even before this family of seventy ventured into the land and grew to the astronomical numbers we see in Exodus, God knew all about their time there before they were even there.

In Genesis 15:13 God told Abram, “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.”  Outside of that prophecy God also said, “And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance,” (Genesis 15:14).  In this we see, there was a promise before they even set one foot in Egypt; before they even encountered a problem, God already had a blessing lined up for when they came out.

Today, we fight against so many unknowns.  We deal with all the this and that’s of life that it simply just weighs one down.  One might not find themselves in a literal state of captivity, but something just sits on them heavy, becoming an almost unbearable burden, that they just don’t know what to do.  With a feeling of exasperation, some just give up, content just to go through the motions of life, without grabbing hold of the feeling of hope because of the fear of being let down again, just to drift back into that state of uncertainty once more.

But, I am here to tell you today, continue hoping and never give up.  Your “Egypt” is not lost on God.  God knows what you are facing.  He knows every disappointment you are dealing with.  He knows every struggle you are battling.  He knows everything that you are fighting through and that’s fighting against you.

It may be hard to see the proverbial silver lining in a dark cloud at times or the light at the end of the tunnel, but we have something better.  We have a promise!  God told Abram when his people came out, they were coming out better than when they went in.  God was going to judge those who did them wrong, and God was going to bless them greatly.

Another promise Abram received was in a few verses prior to those noted above.  God told him, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be,” (Genesis 15:5).  Not only were they going to be blessed, but they were going to come out increased in the people they were.  To go from one individual to the millions they would come out to be, they were going to grow not only in number but in experience through their troubling times. For as Robert Schuller put it, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” (Quote Source: Goodreads)  They would have to learn to endure some stuff in order to be the people who would eventually be fit to take on the Promised Land.

While it may at times seem like the hard times are breaking you, they may be actually making you.  So remember, before there was Egypt, there was a promise.  And, I don’t know about you, but I will take a promise of God over a so-called silver lining any day.  The promises of God are sure.  Through our relationship with Jesus Christ, we are told, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us,” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

In other words, no matter what you are facing today, Jesus has you covered.  No matter the obstacles or hard places that make you feel like you are in Egypt and you just want to give up, God has an unfailing promise of His love, grace, mercy, peace, and deliverance through even the most difficult circumstances.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

 

“Will I Be Worthy?”

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Will I be worthy

in that day

when the clouds part

shining redemptive rays?

 

Will I be worthy

before the Son

rising with the saints

together as one?

 

Will I be worthy

to gain a crown,

with robes of righteousness

as my dressing gown?

 

Will I be worthy

to bask in that glory

when the books are opened

exposing my story?

 

Will I be worthy

to hear, “Well done;”

to enter for eternity

where’s there’s no need for sun?

 

Will I be worthy?

The answer is, “No,”

if on my own accord

I try to go.

 

My own works

can’t mark me as good,

but if on Christ’s sacrifice

I have stood;

my unworthy, sinful, scarlet state

counts me as worthy, by His grace.

 

“But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

“You Are Not Alone in This!”

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Sometimes we just need this extra measure of reassurance . . . “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” Matthew 28:20b.

You are not alone in this!!!!

HIS PROMISE!!! I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS!!!

“God and His Children Today!”

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God is in the midst of His people today; He is where they are!
God is in the saving business today!
God is rejoicing over His people with joy today!
God is loving on His people today!
And, His joy over His children is making Him sing!

God is mighty!
If you are His there is no reason to fear today!

“Jesus Didn’t Let Discouragement Win!”

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“Jesus never fails,” is something I have heard quoted many times over in church.  There is not greater truth for the Christian to hold on to for in it we find consolation for our souls.  Reading the Bible this morning, this particular verse wouldn’t let me go.  It held on and refused me the opportunity to pass it by, demanding that more attention be paid to it.  It says, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth,” (Isaiah 42:4).

Knowing the power of our Lord, of course I know He never fails.  As a matter of fact, it is something you and I count on daily.  The part that really jumped out at me was that He does not get “discouraged.”  That is something that this flesh of mine CANNOT boast about.

We are easily swayed this way and that with the moving of our circumstances and our emotions and just plain old life itself.  But, Jesus never let anything sway Him.  He never let anything drag Him off course from where God wanted Him to be.  As a matter of fact, He repeatedly let us know “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me,” (John 6:38).  Discouragement didn’t stand a chance against the will of God planted so deeply in Him.

Let’s really think about this because if anybody had a reason to be discouraged, Jesus did.  Think of His walking up and down the shores of Galilee, some followed Him just for miracles and some for ridicule, purposed to find fault in Him.  Think about the many times He performed a miracle for others and yet when it came time that He would need people the most “they all forsook him, and fled,” (Mt. 14:50).  If it were me I would have felt so used but Jesus’ response was “but the scriptures must be fulfilled,” (Matt. 14:49).  God’s will was still prominent over His emotions.  Yes, He got upset sometimes.  Remember when He overthrew the tables, (Mt. 21:12)?  But, He never let discouragement win!  He never let discouragement take Him off course!  He never let discouragement gain the upper hand.  Wow!

Jesus had every right to be discouraged with the way things were but He did not give it the opportunity. Discouragement is a pit.  The more you swim in it the deeper it takes you under.  The fact is we do what Jesus didn’t do, we give it the opportunity.  Jesus let nothing frustrate Him from doing what He had to do.  What about us?  How often have we or do we swim in that pit of discouragement only to wonder why we can’t get anything done around here?

There are going to be upsetting times in everyone’s life and I will never downplay those.  Even Ecclesiastes tells us, “To everything there is a season,” (Ecc. 3:1).  But, if we find ourselves dipping too often in the pool of despair then we have to wonder why do we keep giving it the opportunity to control our lives?  Why do we keep giving it a place of position instead of responding like Jesus did?

Sometimes it does get hard but I believe we have to make a conscience decision to respond the way Jesus did and to not let it frustrate us from everything that God has for us and want us to do.

God Has a Better Plan | The Place of Your Own Blessings

How often in our lives do we spend extra time and energies wasted by digging around in the wrong stuff?  With seemingly very little direction many wander from one avenue of life to another.  It’s time for God’s people to settle in a place of their own.  God has a blessing in store for His people, but they have to dig where He is leading them.  They have to find their own well where God can enlarge their territory.

Due to a famine in the land, God instructed Isaac to not go to Egypt but to stay where He tells him (Gen. 26:2); “in this land,” (Gen. 26:3) where the blessings were promised through Abraham.  But, the blessings of the Lord upon him caused the people to not want him in that particular region of the land any longer (Gen. 26:12-16).

Issac knew the disappointment of searching for something in life and not have it to pan out the way he envisioned. After the people of the nation wanted him to depart from them he went back to the old wells his father previously dug and tried to set up shop there.  He even ventured into trying to dig new wells, but no matter what he did he was met with quarrelsome people who didn’t want him there and they made no bones about it.  They fought and disagreed over property rights until the pressure mounted for Isaac that he moved away from that particular area, although he was still in the land God instructed him.

Venturing to remove himself from the people and their contentious attitudes, Isaac finally came to a place where he was able to dig a well without digging for problems.  He was finally in a place where he could enjoy the blessings of the Lord with peace and prosperity.

Through it all, God had a better plan for him.  God will sometimes prohibit us from settling in the familiar (he wanted to dwell at Abraham’s old wells) because He has a new place for you to go to unearth your own blessings, to dig your own wells, to dream your own dreams, to renew a covenant relationship with you personally.  Only when we become invested in God on our own will we be able to see God work in our lives as He did for those who came before us. It wasn’t enough for Isaac to lean on what his father Abraham previously accomplished.  God had a better plan for Isaac and Isaac had to learn to trust God and have faith on his own.  He was still under the same covenant as Abraham who was promised to inherit the land, but God was going to bless Isaac in His own way in that land.

Why go through all of this trouble, you may ask?  Because, as hinted at before, one’s faith has to be in God for themselves.  We will never know what God can do for us and through us if we never allow ourselves to experience a time of dependency on Him.  It is alright for Isaac to hold on to the blessings God promised to Abraham (because those blessings were still very valid for him), but he also needed to know God in an individual, relational way to be a carrier of this covenant.  He needed to know it is not what his father previously dug that will give him a place in the land, but it is the God who his father served and had faith in, He is the one that will make room for him there, thereby upholding what He previously promised to his father.  The promise may have been initiated on Abraham’s faith, but Isaac had to recognize the sovereignty of God’s hand and plan in it all as well, and that in the end, anything he had or accomplished will be because of the LORD who gave him his own blessing under that same covenant promise.  And, when God blesses, He makes it fruitful and abounding.  He will give room for expansion and growth.

Sometimes when we venture out into new territory and we hit up against fighting and disagreements, it could be because God doesn’t want us to settle in that particular area.  We may be still in the land that was promised, but some areas are not going to foster our growth the way God wants us to grow.  Some places of familiarity will actually hinder our spiritual progress rather than nurture it.  In some places, there may be people or situations God doesn’t want us to be around because they just always look to start trouble.  Isaac only found peace and knew he had come to the point of his own place of being blessed when he realized it was God who led him there and opened up the opportunity for space there.  “And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, ‘For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land,'” (Gen. 26:22; NKJV).

All contentions we face and all disagreements we face aren’t bad.  They can actually be a propelling place to get us moving and stop settling where God doesn’t see us growing.  If God has a better plan for you, He will put you in a place where you can stretch out beyond your wildest dreams; where you can go beyond what you previously thought you could.  He will put you in a place where you can dig your own wells, unearth your own blessings, and prosper in Him.  He told Isaac, ‘”I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you.  I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.” So he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD, he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well,’ (Gen. 26:24-26; NKJV).  After God spoke to him he knew he was where God wanted him to be; he knew he had arrived at the place of his own blessings.

Photo Credit: Pixabay